German Bundesliga Roundup, Dec. 20
Hamburg beat Werder Bremen 2-1 at home on Sunday to keep pace with
the Bundesliga leaders going into the winter break despite playing
more than half the game with just ten men.
Joris Mathijsen scored a ninth minute header and Marcell Jansen made it 2-0 in the 36th for Hamburg, who had Jerome Boateng red-carded for a foul on Marko Marin when he was the last defender just after the half hour mark.
Naldo pulled a goal back for Bremen three minutes into stoppage time.
But Hamburg held off Bremen to improve to fourth place with 31 points from 17 matches.
"The team really deserves a lot of respect for taking home these three points in a very tough game against a real rival," said Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia.
"With everything that happened in the first half, the 31 points is sensational for us. We showed great morale, even with all the injuries and going seven games without a victory."
Werder remain on 28 points and are now sixth after their second straight Bundesliga loss after going 23 games without a loss in both domestic and European competition.
"We didn't play with our heads. We made it too complicated. We could not play how we wanted to today on this field and in these conditions. We should have played more simple," said Bremen head coach Thomas Schaaf.
Aaron Hunt struck the crossbar for Bremen with six minutes left and Marin hit the framework just a minute later before Naldo scored the consolation goal for Werder.
In the other Sunday game, Cologne dominated Nuremberg to record a 3-0 victory at home in a battle of relegation-threatened teams.
Cologne came into the game with just seven goals from 16 games, but three headers gave it a crucial victory that lifted it to 12th in the standings on 18 points.
Nuremberg remained mired in the relegation zone, one place off the bottom with just 12 points.
Geromel scored Cologne's first in the 37th and Milivoje Novakovic made it 2-0 with 20 minutes to play. The Slovenian striker then headed home his second seven minutes later to seal the result.
Nuremberg defender Juri Judt was sent off six minutes from the end for a second bookable offense.